For some small business owners, investing in the latest technology can be a daunting prospect. After all, such expenses can be burdensome if they don't lead to anticipated results. With so many innovative products and services out there, it can be quite difficult to figure out which one will be the most advantageous for a business.
Despite these important considerations, tech investment is key for small businesses looking to grow their profits. A number of entrepreneurs are catching on to this. Insight Enterprises found at least two out of five small businesses plan on increasing their IT budgets in 2016 - those planning on doing so are setting aside over a quarter more funds than they did in 2015.
With the benefits that the newest technologies can bring, and the right strategies for small business funding, it is a great time to consider investing in the latest innovations.
How can organisations wisely spend on IT?
Breaking onto the social scene
Some of the oldest lessons in business are the most apt - few more so than the importance of customer satisfaction. No matter the industry, providing clients with a stellar experience can go a long way into generating repeat business and positive word of mouth. When it comes to investments, ones that focus on boosting customer service can have a big payoff.
Over half of Australians feel a higher sense of trust in companies that interact positively with customers on social media.
Budgeting for developing and maintaining a social media presence can be a winning strategy for this, especially as Australians are showing a growing reception to businesses on social media.
According to the 2016 Sensis Social Media Report, over half of Australian consumers feel that they have a higher sense of trust in companies that maintain positive interactions with customers on social media. Despite this, less than half of small business are on social media currently, and only one in five plan on establishing a presence over the next year.
Getting into social media and other means of online customer interaction is a surefire strategy for businesses. In fact, according to Deloitte, adding two new channels for customer communication can lead to a $160,000 increase in revenue each year on average. Clearly, getting more social can be a significant boost for businesses.
Are storage solutions too cloudy?
The longer an organisation is up and running, the more digital storage space it will need for records and resources. Depending on the industry, small businesses can quickly fill up even the largest desktop hard drives. While one popular strategy has been the turn toward cloud-based storage, some are apprehensive about security and other concerns.
These cybercrime fears are not unfounded. In the Asian Cloud Computing Association's 2016 Cloud Readiness Index, Australia dropped from first to fifth place in terms of data centre risk from 2014 to 2016. Given the potentially high cost of a breach or attack, staying off the cloud might seem safer to some small business owners.
Fortunately, network-attached storage (NAS) devices can provide a way for businesses to increase the amount of available gigabytes office-wide. A NAS device, as the name suggests, can be hooked up to a business' network so employees can store and retrieve files from it without the need for a direct wired connection. Another key benefit is that this solution is scalable, as some NAS setups make it easy to just add an additional external hard drive when more space is needed.
Getting the funds for investment
The timing is particularly ripe for businesses looking to invest in new innovations, particularly with the incentives in the 2016 Federal Budget. Of course, debtor finance services can also lend a hand in getting needed capital.
To learn more about how we can help with small business funding needs, get in touch with Earlypay today.
If you'd like to learn how Earlypay's Invoice Finance & Equipment Finance can help you boost your working capital to fund growth or keep on top of day-to-day operations of your business, contact Earlypay's helpful team today on 1300 760 205, visit our sign-up form or contact [email protected].